A new study suggests that even a minor attitude adjustment among teachers can have a dramatic effect on those rates: Middle school math teachers encouraged to be more empathetic saw student suspensions drop by half. How teachers view their students’ needs can have a direct impact on student performance. The study also highlighted the importance of teacher expectations. The study suggests that “by changing the mindset of just one of their teachers, students had better behavior across all of their classes.”
Okonofua, J., et al. (2016). Brief intervention to encourage empathic discipline cuts suspension rates in half among adolescents. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA,10; 113:5221.